"On the Hunt for the Lost Chess Book"

Meeting José Antonio Garzón in Valencia,
the "Cradle of Modern Chess"


The Banco de Valencia in the historic city center

It's more than a twist of fate that another business trip finally took me to Valencia, the birthplace of modern chess. Unfortunately a meeting of the Ken Whyld Association planned there had to be cancelled for May 2009, and in September 2009 I couldn't accept the invitation to the local Meeting of Chess Historians for business reasons.

Meeting point Plaza de la Virgen - The Turia Fountain


The more pleasing it was that our founding member José Garzón had made an appointment with me and my colleague at the Plaza de la Virgen, in the middle of the historic city center. Probably Francesch Vicent and Juan Timoneda have offered there to the public their books on modern chess (Llibre dels jochs partitis dels schachs, Valencia 1495) and on checkers (draughts) respectively (Libro llamado Ingenio, el qual trata del Juego del Marro de punta) (see At that time the book dealers settled in the vestibules of the churches, certainly here in St. Catalina.

The Santa Catalina Church


In the City of Arts and Sciences

José had to wait patiently for us as we had terribly underestimated the previous march through the dry river bed of the Turia (1957 diverted from the city) to the "Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias" with its imposing modern "cathedrals" by Santiago Calatrava. There we met amongst others this gentleman, facing a great challenge in a simul in November 2009:


The 3D Cinema L'Hemisfèric

In the lovely Horchateria opposite St. Catalina - over a classic "Horchata" (a milky refreshment made from tigernuts - a grass) - we were able to communicate wonderfully despite all language problems. My Spanish friend had brought a lot of documents and publications, inter alia the article reproduced below from Jaque No 30/2004 dealing with the development of modern chess in Valencia.


Michael Negele and José Garzón in front of the Horchateria

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